Last season for the Kings, it was Ilya Kovalchuk. This year’s off-season dilemma? Re-signing Drew Doughty. Put aside trying to land Brad Richards via free agency, Dean Lombardi has been trying to get a new deal in place for the defenseman before training camp. The plan was to have Drew signed by July 1st, but here we are, the start of training camp and no new contract. So what’s the hold up? The past few days have seen a lot of fans blaming Doughty and calling him a “diva” for turning down a long-term deal worth what is believed to be an average of $6.8 million. We don’t know the specifics of what the Kings offered, but it has been reported that Doughty’s camp is asking $7 million. Lombardi has publicly stated that he thinks what he offered is fair and wouldn’t be offering more. The Kings have no issues with cap space, so why can’t Lombardi give Doughty what he is asking? The easy answer would be that he is spending wisely. We have seen this team go through the rebuilding process since Lombardi was hired on as General Manager in 2006. He is taking every step to make sure the Kings are going to be successful for years to come. He is taking extra care to be sure he can have all the right pieces in place to make that vision become reality. Drew Doughty is a valuable player. With the direction the team has been headed the past few seasons, getting a contract in place is a priority.
So, is Doughty the diva here, or is it his agent, Don Meehan? (more…)